Indoor fun with a tiny ArduCopter quadcopter

Do you have an Ardupilot Mega and shield and want some fun for little money? check this tiny quad... my last drone in family...

Some specs:
- Size : 26.5cm (10.4 inches) from motor to motor
- Motors : 18-11 200kv 10 gram motors
- Props : 4x2.5 (standard CCW props)
- ESCs : Turnigy 6A
- Battery : 3S610 (or 3S800)
- Sonar : Maxbotics LV-EZ0 [optional]

The nice part about this frame is that it use standard kite parts, so it´s very easy to construct and it´s perfect for some radical tests.
Itried to find a bit different design that also make the quad less simmetrical (it´s very easy to loss the orientation with a quad) and I wanted to do as small as posible to flight indoors...
At this size and weight it´s very safe and robust also. The props use prop savers and this help a lot in crashes...
I am not very good writing... so I took a lot of photos during the build phase and I created a build log:

This code supports a sonar for altitude hold and also has a battery alarm (2 alarms).
Thisquad works with ArduCopter code, but because how main board is mounted, actual code doesn´t work. This is the code that I used with this quad :
(as zip format: )
note that this will be integrated on main Arducopter code. Now is temporarily in a branch.
ThePID gains are different than in standard ArduCopter, so you need to Initialize EEPROM on Configurator or put this ones manually:
-Stable mode: P : 4.8 ; I : 0.12 ; P_rate (D in configurator) : 0.4 ; Yaw : (4.5 ,0.15 ,2.8 )
-Acrobatic mode : P : 0.75 ; I : 0.1 ; D : 0 ; Yaw : (2.4 ,0.2 ,0 )

OK, but was all so perfect like in the video? I don´t believe that...
Yes, you are right, but fortunately this design is very crash resistance... and this part is also fun...

After all this battles I only needed a few drops of ciano in the crash with the lamppost :-)

What´s the real size?

On center, standard arducopter frame, on left, old ArduIMU quadcopter part III, on right-top this project.

And what about the automatic aerobatics on video?
I am starting to test a new function to do automatic aerobatics (Automatic Aerobatic Procedure). The idea is that you enable this function with a switch in the Tx to make an automatic predefined aerobatic and then automatically recover to a stable mode.
Thisis actually a proof of concept but works very nice. One limit here is the maximun rate of the gyros, in our case 500deg/s. If we exceed this, the IMU get confused...
An interesting point to note is that the IMU doesn´t loose the orientation in this hard movements...
Thestory is that I have never feel too much confidence doing flips manually with quads. Then I start thinking that with an automatic code we can get a precise timing and controled movement so maybe this could help to do better aerobatics. I started testing this function outdoor, on an open field but I was improving the code and got more tightly maneuvers, so tight, that I ended up doing flips with a quad inside my room!!!

Here is the code I was testing : (AAP function:
AAP.txt )
I implemented this functionality as a state machine where there are three kind of states:
- fixed commands for a limited period of time. (example : Apply a throttle command)
- fixed commands until we reach some IMU state (example : roll until we reach a certain angle)
- And a mix between this categories and a control (example : Throttle command + stable mode on roll, pitch, yaw)
There are many things to test and improve here but the basic concept works very nice...

If I can get a bit of help from a friend, I will probably made a carbon fuselage for this prototype...

Enjoy this “Science & Fun” mix...

Jose Julio.
Arducopter Team
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  • 115200 is usb.

    111100 is fore xbee 2,4ghz.

    loop at your usb poort if its setup ok.

  • OK I installed 527. I had to delete an endif that it was complaining about and then I did all the configuration with CLI. Can I calibrate these little turnigy plus 6a ESCs with CLI?


    Then I opened configurator and saw some activity for a few seconds and then it froze. Then I remembered Sebastian's suggestion to change baud to 111100 so I found in Config.h these lines and changed to 111100.


    / //#define SerXbee 
    /*    Telemetry port speed, default is 115200 */

    #define SerBau 111100



    I then set it to 111100 in configurator but can't establish a connection. When it tries, it restarts the APM and after it boots it still doesn't connect.

  • the 527
  • Which one?
  • wai dont you test the epm with this file if it works its not he amp.

  • Well yesterday, the replacement APM/IMU had a stable graph of the sensors but today it's doing the same thing as the other one. Could there be some other explanation for this? I doubt I have 2 defective IMUs.




  • no, that's because of a slow connection/slow PC, nothing to worry about

  • I switched out to another APM/IMU and it's working now. Have to work on getting the yaw out before it can really fly but at least the sensors are reporting now. I noticed in the horizon view that the response was very slow. I would tilt to the left or right and it would eventually display that but it took a couple of seconds. Is that because of the PID settings?
  • yes, try the other IMU

    you could check the three sensors (next to the rele)

    I don't know what else could be the reason, sorry

  • Wouldn't even try to fly. Impossible because the motors randomly surge. I check the ADC chip with a 30x loupe and the connections look fine. Any other troubleshooting I can do? This APM/IMU has never flown. I have another also that I was waiting to put in a skywalker so will give that a try on the miniquad.

This reply was deleted.